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May 24, 2023 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold in two parts.

To listen to all of John Batchelor’s podcasts, go here.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Col Beausabre

    Bob, the FAA regulates everything above the ground in US airspace.,, including balloons. I hold a balloon pilots license. Balloos themselves need a Certificate of Airworthiness from the FAA

    Subpart D — Private Pilots

    To be eligible for a free balloon private pilot’s certificate a person must be at least 16 years of age.

    Read, speak and understand the English language.

    No medical certificate required. Same as paragraph 3 above.

    The applicant must pass a written test on such items as: (a) Federal Aviation Regulations covering pilot privileges, limitations and flight procedures, (b) use of navigation charts, (c) recognition of weather conditions and use for weather reports, (d) operating procedures with gas and hot air balloons.

    The applicant must have received instruction on the following pilot operations: (a) ground handling and inflation, (b) pre-flight checks, (c) takeoff and ascents, (d) descents and landings, (e) emergency conditions.

    Flight experience must include at least 10 hours in free balloons, which must include 6 flights under supervision of an instructor. These flights must include at least the following: tow flights of at least 30 minutes duration, one ascent to 3000 feet above takeoff point, and one solo flight (these requirements are for air balloons; requirements for gas balloons are slightly different).

    Subpart E — Commercial Pilots

    The age requirement for a commercial pilot certificate is 18 years.

    Read, speak and understand the English language.

    No medical certificate required. Same as paragraph 3 above.

    The applicant must pass a more advanced written test on the subject matter listed in paragraph 4 above, additional operating procedures relating to commercial operations, and those duties required of a flight instructor.

    Advanced training must be received from an authorized instructor including those items listed in paragraph 5 above plus emergency recovery from a terminal velocity descent.

    The applicant for a commercial certificate must have at least 35 hours of flight time as a pilot, of which 20 hours must be in balloons, 6 under the supervision of an instructor, 2 solo flights, 2 flights of at least one duration, and one flight to 5000 feet above the take-off point.

    The holder of a commercial pilot’s certificate may operate a balloon for hire and may give flight instruction.
    A standard airworthiness certificate is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) official authorization allowing for the operation of type certificated aircraft in the following categories:
    Manned Free Balloons
    Special Classes
    Airworthiness certificates are broken down into two categories, standard and special
    It is contingent on maintaining an aircraft in compliance with regulations including airworthiness directives (think of a recall for your car) and mandatory service bulletins

  • Col Beausabre

    PS – Any aircraft offering to fly passengers for hire must have an airworthiness certificate

    Avoidance of other traffic would fall under the FAA – typically they would issue a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) closing certain airspace during a certain period to allow launching the balloon, which is what they do for rockets

  • mkent

    Robert, two points:

    1) John Shoffner is the pilot of AX-2. He did not fly on AX-1 or on any other spaceflight. This is his first flight.

    2) Sultan Al Neyadi, the UAE astronaut on Crew 6, obtained his seat from Axiom, not SpaceX or NASA, which makes his participation in a spacewalk very interesting.

    BTW, I enjoy your stints on the John Batchelor Show. I hope you keep doing them.

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